Mayor of Ipswich opens new Multi-Faith Centre for Ipswich and the region

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A new Multi-Faith Centre, created by the East of England Faiths Agency (EEFA), has been opened by the Mayor of Ipswich, Cllr Jane Riley, at the East of England Co-op Funeral Services branch on St Helens Street, Ipswich.

Representatives from Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Fire and Rescue and faith groups attended the opening, during which Assistant Director of the InterFaith Network UK, David Hampshire, gave his appreciation for the work of the EEFA.

Guests marked the opening by creating a Harmony Bracelet, made up of 13 beads, with each bead representing a different religion or belief and their messages of peace and ethical living. The bracelet will be displayed at the Centre.

Cynthia Capey, Managing Director of EEFA, explained: “It’s an auspicious time to launch the Centre as we enter Inter-Faith Week UK, which aims to increase awareness of different faiths and to build understanding between people of different faiths.

“It was originally a Mayor of Ipswich, many years ago, who first brought people of different faiths together in Ipswich, to a Civic Celebration of Community.  Now, thanks to the East of England Co-op Funeral Services, we have this new Multi-Faith Centre as a resource and meeting place for all.”

Spanning over five rooms, the Centre provides space for training, seminars and resources, including a library, with information on a wide variety of faiths and beliefs.

The East of England Co-op Funeral Services has worked with EEFA for several years, raising awareness of the specific needs of the various religious communities.

Adam Gray of the East of England Co-op Funeral Services, said: “Ipswich, in particular, is becoming increasingly diverse. As a service which supports people from all backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and religions, our teams have undergone training with Cynthia and EEFA, helping them to understand the different faiths and the needs of their clients.

“Their support and knowledge has been invaluable, and we are very pleased to be welcoming them to 47 St Helens Street.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Centre or would like to book an appointment, visit www.eefa.net or contact Cynthia on c.capey@eefa.net or call 01379 678615.